A Get-It Done Guide for Content Marketers

When it involves activity administration, I’ve tried all of it. I’ve used Asana, Trello, ClickUp, Monday, Notion, and so on. I’ve constructed Gantt charts, positioned sticky notes on bodily Kanban boards, and used pen and paper to make record after record. I’ve adopted the Getting Things Done technique. I’ve even tried a stack of index playing cards with a binder clip cleverly referred to as a “Hipster PDA.” Yeah, that was a factor.

Nothing caught.

Until now.

I exploit a system. I keep on prime of duties, delegate issues to the correct individuals, comply with up with individuals after I must, and schedule my time, so I’m not frantically making an attempt to complete every little thing proper now.

My new system? An Eisenhower Matrix. I created it via Microsoft’s OneNote app, however a lot of the components may very well be executed on a spreadsheet or perhaps a desk in a doc.

An Eisenhower Matrix did something no other task management tool could do – help me stay on top of my #ContentMarketing tasks, says @thatgirlrandi via @CMIContent. #Productivity Click To Tweet

What’s an Eisenhower Matrix?

President Dwight D. Eisenhower famously stated, “I have two kinds of problems, the urgent and the important. The urgent are not important, and the important are never urgent.”

From this quote sprang the Eisenhower Matrix, a productiveness framework to prioritize duties. It’s a two-by-two quadrant with 4 squares. The y-axis consists of “important” and “not important,” and the x-axis covers “urgent” and “not urgent.” You’ll place your x-axis above your y-axis, leaving room to jot down like this setup:

Eisenhower matrix showing y-axis and x-axis.Click to enlarge

Note: Lines are for illustrative reference solely.

Each sq. has a label – do (vital and pressing), determine (vital and never pressing), delegate (not vital and pressing), delete (not vital and never pressing).

Here’s how the execution works:

  • DO duties are to be executed now. It may imply this hour, this week, or this month, however I want to outline “now” as “today.”
  • DECIDE duties require you to determine when to finish them. Schedule time in your calendar to finish these duties earlier than any individual fills the time block with yet one more assembly.
  • DELEGATE duties have the significance of being executed right this moment (or this week), however you shouldn’t have the time or capability to finish them, so you’ll delegate them. (More on this later.)
  • DELETE duties will not be value your or others’ time and power. Either take away the duty or rethink its significance and transfer it to delegate.

While I exploit the Eisenhower Matrix for my duties and don’t share it with my staff, you possibly can create a matrix for your particular person or staff concerns. (If anybody on my staff must see mine, it’s out there via my Sharepoint server.)

By classifying tasks based on important/not important and urgent/not urgent, you can do, decide, delegate, and delete them, says @thatgirlrandi via @CMIContent. #Productivity Click To Tweet

Here are the steps to create an Eisenhower Matrix in Microsoft’s note-taking software OneNote.

Step 1: Set up every axis

Label the web page “Eisenhower Matrix.” On the primary line, label your x-axis, typing “URGENT” and “NOT URGENT.” Make positive to go away house for the y-axis labels (to be added subsequent) and in between the 2 x-axis classes, so you’ve house so as to add the duties below every.

Next, label your y-axis, typing “IMPORTANT” adopted by “NOT IMPORTANT,” leaving house between every to jot down the duties.

Your ensuing display screen ought to look one thing like this:

Click to enlarge

TIP: Use headline type font for your axes labels in order that they’ll clearly stand out out of your duties.

Step 2: Label the quadrants

Now, you possibly can determine every sq.. In the identical line as IMPORTANT, label a textual content field beneath URGENT as “DO” and below NOT URGENT as “DECIDE.”

Move to the NOT IMPORTANT line and add a textual content field below URGENT as “DELEGATE” and below NOT URGENT as “DELETE.”

It ought to appear like this:

Click to enlarge

Beneath every quadrant label, right-click and select the “Tag as To Do” perform. (It’s the icon with a purple checkmark inside a sq..) Now, you possibly can learn your to-do guidelines for every.

TIP: Use heading two type for quadrant titles.

Step 3: Brain dump your duties

Write down all of your duties in your first quadrant. Yes, put all of them below DO for now. Pull them from the myriad notepads, sticky notes, and paper scraps in your desk. Pull them out of your cellphone’s notes, lists, and numerous apps. Add every little thing you possibly can consider – so long as they’re duties for which you’re personally accountable. For instance, in case your staff is tasked to create a weblog article and your duty is to proof it, you’d record the duty as “proof blog article” as a result of that’s all you’re accountable for. This is your private repository.

Here’s an instance of my to-do record with 15 duties, starting from checking emails to deciding on a brand new digital asset supervisor.

Click to enlarge

Step 4: Move your duties to the quadrants

Move your duties from the DO placeholder to their applicable quadrants. Don’t prioritize them inside the quadrant; simply transfer them to their rightful place. For the duties that may keep below DO, take into consideration what you possibly can full now – right this moment and solely right this moment. Consider what number of conferences you’ve and different tasks you’ve right this moment. It’s potential you might solely have one DO activity to work on right this moment, and that’s OK. It’s why the duty record below DECIDE and DELEGATE will possible be longer. Don’t be afraid to maneuver issues into DELETE. It’s there for a motive.

After writing all your tasks, move them to the proper quadrant – DO, DECIDE, DELEGATE, or DELETE, says @thatgirlrandi via @CMIContent. #Productivity Click To Tweet

Here’s how my instance seems to be – three objects below DO, seven duties below DECIDE, 4 issues below DELEGATE, and one activity below DELETE:

Click to enlarge

Step 5: Prioritize the quadrant’s duties

Organize the duties in every quadrant from most to least vital. You could understand some duties ought to transfer to a distinct quadrant – that’s completely acceptable. For instance, if one thing in your DO record can’t get executed by you right this moment, you could transfer it to DELEGATE. Delegating duties helps you elevate to the next degree of productiveness.

Here’s how my matrix seems to be with the ranked in precedence order. For instance, below DECIDE, the No. 1 precedence is to test emails, whereas the No. 2 activity is to current winter marketing campaign ROI outcomes to C-suite with the sub-task (which initially was listed as a separate activity) beneath it – calculate winter marketing campaign ROI.

Click to enlarge

TIP: List the interdependent duties consecutively, then use the tab button to indent the sub-tasks beneath the principle activity to indicate the order of operations.

Step 6: Take motion

Herein lies the great thing about utilizing OneNote to create the matrix – the power so as to add tags. Right-click on a activity and decide the field with a checkmark and gold star.

A few of my favourite task-management tags are:

  • To-do precedence No. 1
  • Discuss with
  • Discuss with supervisor

While these tags come within the programmed record, different tags could be personalized. For instance, you might create a tag changing with a colleague’s title or replace a venture tag with a marketing campaign title. Add tags to indicate shoppers or platforms. Do no matter works for you.

I additionally benefit from the flags function, which is very useful for duties within the DECIDE quadrant. It permits you to date the duties, from generic labels like “tomorrow” or “next week” to calendar dates. You can sync these duties to your Microsoft Outlook calendar and set reminders for their completion.

In addition to utilizing tags and flags, I exploit brackets to make notes, equivalent to to whom I must delegate a activity or who wants to reply earlier than I can full a activity. Though I exploit the “Discuss with ” tag, my bracketed notes let me see who with out hovering my mouse over the duty’s tick field.

Here’s what this seems to be like in my matrix:

Click to enlarge

TIP: If you discover it useful, use coloration codes to tell apart themes or constant components, equivalent to a venture or colleague.

Step 7: Make and comply with your guidelines

To preserve my matrix manageable, I comply with a couple of easy guidelines:

Keep all duties seen on a single web page

If my activity record creeps off the display screen or web page, I’ve too many duties. Too many duties imply it’s time to revise the duties in quadrants, significantly DELEGATE and DELETE. I do know what you’re considering: “What if I have five top priorities? There’s no way I could keep all my tasks above the fold.”

If you attain that time, you’re not prioritizing correctly. You actually can solely accomplish that a lot in a day.

Limit your priorities to a few a day

Put not more than three precedence duties in your DO quadrant. Yep, I stated three.  Sure, you’ve different objects in your DO quadrant every day, however solely three needs to be prime priorities. Also, a activity in my DO quadrant doesn’t imply it is going to be accomplished that day. Its placement means I prioritize engaged on it right this moment.

TIP: If you could full a activity right this moment, transfer every little thing else to DECIDE and DELEGATE. Let your friends know you aren’t out there to work on something however that prime precedence. Block out the day’s calendar so conferences will not be added.

Move delegated duties off the matrix

Once you delegate a activity, transfer it to a separate web page referred to as “delegated” and test on its progress. For me, day by day check-ins are a bit a lot, however each different day retains communication flowing with out being intrusive.

By following my guidelines, my matrix now has no duties below DELEGATE, solely three duties below DO, and some extra duties added to DECIDE:

Click to enlarge

My delegated duties web page consists of the 4 duties together with the names of these dealing with them:

Click to enlarge

Create a wins web page

Tracking my wins – accomplished duties – is the most effective results of my matrix. Any accomplished activity will get moved to the win web page. It serves as casual documentation of your work. I wish to view my wins web page after I really feel I haven’t been productive and discover proof that I’ve accomplished duties.

My wins web page is a bulleted record of duties copied and pasted from my Eisenhower Matrix after I full them. I add the completion date to every activity line. Occasionally, I make an observation in brackets. Here’s what that appears like for seven duties accomplished in February:

Click to enlarge

That’s my system. It could appear to be lots at first, so KISS it first – Keep It Simple, Silly. Don’t fear an excessive amount of about including flags and tags till you’re comfy shifting and including duties to the matrix. You’re creating this software that can assist you – customise it to what works greatest for you and knock these duties out of the park.

All instruments talked about within the article are recognized by the creator. If you’ve a software to recommend, please be happy so as to add it within the feedback.

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Cover picture by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute